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Preparing Responsive Teacher Educators Through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) & Adaptive Expertise (AE) Dr. Frances Smith - GWU and Dr. Evelyn Reed.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing Responsive Teacher Educators Through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) & Adaptive Expertise (AE) Dr. Frances Smith - GWU and Dr. Evelyn Reed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing Responsive Teacher Educators Through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) & Adaptive Expertise (AE) Dr. Frances Smith - GWU and Dr. Evelyn Reed -VCU 2013 Annual TED Conference - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2 2variable Some operational definitions.. Adaptable
: something that changes or that can be changed : something that varies Retrieved from Variability Variability is the dynamic and ever-changing mix of strengths and challenges that makes up each learner. Retrieved from Adaptable Adaptable: Able to change or be changed in order to fit or work better in some situation or for some purpose. Retrieved from

3 Our Goals for the Course Personnel Development in Special Education
Conceptually explore the two lenses of Adaptive Expertise (AE) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Present and model these two frameworks in our pedagogical approaches. Consider the relationships between the two lenses.


5 What are the driving forces across the policy, technology, and the economy?
Built-in Digital Flexibility What are the current issues in educator preparation? How does the research in how people learn inform our work?

6 Teacher Competencies

7 Encouraging Students to Become Agents of Their Learning
Students at the Center Symposium Interview: Dr. Eric Toshalis, Lewis & Clark College

8 Driving Forces

9 Evolving Trends in the Literature

10 “As a Platform for Student Centered Learning…
“..the term UDL emphasizes the special purpose of learning environments….they foster changes in knowledge and skills that we call learning” “…success also requires that the means for learning– the pedagogical goals, methods, materials and assessments….are accessible…to all students” Rose, D. H. & Gravel, J. W. (2012). Curricular opportunities in the digital age Boston: Jobs for the Future. Retrieved online from

11 Emerging Trends in Education
Cognitive skills (critical thinking, information literacy, reasoning and argumentation, innovation), intrapersonal, & interpersonal competencies (staying organized, responsible, hard-working) are positively correlated with education, career and health outcomes (National Research Council (NRC), 2012). Curriculum and instruction programs should support methods that include multiple representations of concepts and tasks; encourage elaboration and questioning; engage learners in challenging tasks; teach with examples and cases; prime student motivation; and use formative assessments. (NRC, 2012). National Research Council (2012) Education for life and work: Developing transferrable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Developing expertise through deeper learning requires months or years of sustained practice, and benefits from guiding feedback and metacognition (NRC , 2012). "Transfer is facilitated by instruction that help learners develop deep understanding; instructional designers should provide clear goals, a model of how learning will develop, and assessment measures to measure progress and attainment" (NRC, 2012, p. 9).

12 Domains of Competence Intrapersonal Domain Interpersonal Cognitive
Teacher National Research Council (2012). Education for life and work: Developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century, Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

13 Skills Across Domains Cognitive processes and strategies,
knowledge, creativity, critical thinking, information literacy, reasoning, argumentation, Innovation. Intellectual openness, work ethic, conscientiousness, positive core of self-evaluation, flexibility, initiative, appreciation of diversity, Metacognition. Teamwork and collaboration, leadership, communication, collaboration, responsibility, conflict resolution.

14 Preparing SET for 21st Century Teaching & Learning
Teacher Professional Standards Universal Design for Learning 21st Century Skills Accreditation Standards

15 Universal Design for Learning
Two Lenses Adaptive Expertise Universal Design for Learning

16 Adaptive Expertise (AE)
Adaptive expertise, or the interaction of efficient and innovative uses of knowledge, is described as the “gold standard for becoming a professional” (Hamerness, Darling- Hammond, & Bransford, 2005, p. 360) Adaptive dispositions, learning orientation, willing to ask questions (De Arment, Reed, & Wetzel, 2013). Metacognitive skills, self- assess thinking. monitor results (De Arment, Reed, & Wetzel, 2013). Cognitive skills, causal reasoning, data-driven problem solving (De Arment, Reed, & Wetzel, 2013).

17 AE for Special Educators
Adaptive Expertise (AE) is important for the challenges that novice & veteran special educators encounter across: multiple roles varied contexts, general & adapted curricula, evidence-based practices, individualized approaches, family & student priorities. De Arment, S. T., Reed, E., & Wetzel, A. P. (2013). Promoting adaptive expertise: A conceptual framework for special education preparation, Teacher Education and Special Education, 36(2),

18 Universal Design for Learning
Universal design for learning (UDL) defined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) as “a scientifically valid framework for guiding instructional practice that provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged" (HEOA, 2008).


20 An Appreciation of Learner Variability
Learner variability is systematic and we can plan for it! Learners vary in the ways they take in information, Learners vary in their abilities and approaches, and across their development, Learning changes by situation and context. The National Center on Universal Design for Learning (2012). Learner variability and universal design for learning. The UDL Series. Retrieved from

21 Learner Variability vs. Disability
CAST believes that “barriers to learning are not, in fact, inherent in the capacities of learners, but instead arise in learners' interactions with inflexible educational goals, materials, methods, and assessments.” Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age, p. vi

22 Learner Variability vs Disability
UDL moves away from deficit model of disability - learner variability is viewed as a function of barriers in curriculum/environment. Books and other curricula materials are often inaccessible to students …present a barrier as a fixed media. SECTION THREE: We at CAST believe that our over-reliance upon text, particularly upon books, for instruction creates significant barriers for large numbers of students: Students with dyslexia Students for whom English is a second language Students with visual impairments or who are blind Students with Attention Deficit Disorders Others who, for one reason or another, don’t read well. What is needed to meet these diverse needs is more flexibility than the one-size-fits-all printed textbook can provide.

23 An Instructional Model

24 Technology Trends “Students continue to bring their own tech, and the tech is prolific and diverse”. “Blending modalities and using technology to engage learners is a winning combination”. “Students have strong and positive perceptions about how technology is being used and how it benefits them”. “Students are selective about communication modes and how best to connect with different audiences”. Dahlstrom, E., de Boor, T., Grunwald, P., & Vockley, M. (2011). The ECAR national study of undergraduate students and information technology, (Research Report). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, Retrieved from

25 The Role of Technology Technology’s role is important in the classroom to promote digital literacy. Technology increasingly offers connected means for communication. Multiple opportunities for instructional flexibility and differentiation can be leveraged through flexible and accessible instructional designs.

26 Points to Ponder Time to adoption: 1 year or less Flipped Classroom
Massively Open Online Courses Mobile Apps Tablet Computing Retrieved from horizon-report-higher-ed

27 A Course Model Hybrid course design (Blackboard LMS and F2F)
Digital flexibility to support student choice, guide understanding and promote knowledge Wordpress blogs for student’s reflective spaces Access to guest experts to challenge their thinking and dispositions Intentional course design strategies Multiple opportunities for sharing and building learner expertise Facilitated peer reviews, synthesis, and discussions towards deeper learning


29 Retrieved from

30 An Analysis through a UDL Lens

31 Student #1 Perspectives

32 “After analysis through these individual lenses and through illustration of how these frameworks overlap and complement one another, I draw the conclusion that when considered together, all three provide for valuable new insight into the design of clinical experiences for aspiring special educators…. These three frameworks have great utility in that they are universally applicable to any and all teaching and learning contexts….” Doctoral Student, VCU, 2013 Spring Doctoral Seminar

33 Overlapping Frameworks
Adaptive Expertise Universal Design for Learning How People Learn

34 Student #2 Perspectives

35 “The issue that concerns me most in education right now is the effect of high stakes testing (and over-testing) on the quality of learning experiences for students. When teacher evaluations rely solely on the test scores of students, there is insufficient emphasis placed on innovation and the teaching of 21st century skills…Why not teach students to think and communicate and evaluate and problem solve? UDL offers strategies to transform learning and make knowledge accessible, but it’s challenging to encourage teachers to embrace innovation when the systems that employ them want to see SOL scores and not portfolios of student learning.” Doctoral Student, VCU, 2013 Spring Doctoral Seminar

36 Student #3 Perspectives

37 “Teachers need an overarching philosophy to guide their practice, and the use of UDL and AE in the classroom would improve their effectiveness. Measuring adherence to UDL principles and AE tenants can assess correct implementation of these two frameworks….if novice teachers are not given the freedom to put into practice the adaptive expertise and researcher-in-action training…recommendations would not have any impact on student outcomes.” Doctoral Student, VCU, 2013 Spring Doctoral Seminar


39 Questions & Next Steps….
How might these frameworks come together to inform special education teacher training?

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